June 25 COVID-19 Update


Today the Ontario Government announced that the majority of Windsor-Essex has been moved into Stage 2 as well as $13 million in Youth Opportunities Fund grants. Justin Trudeau announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant.
As more people return to work and relevant news regarding COVID-19 is becoming more infrequent, we have decided to send you updates on Tuesday and Thursday only. We hope this helps you keep your inbox manageable while still delivering relevant news updates.
Even though businesses and patios are beginning to reopen, we ask that people use common sense and continue to follow public health guidelines. Even with new guidelines around social circles, when in public please remember to always practice physical distancing and to wear a face covering when distancing is difficult.
You can still access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant, first announced in April. The government has created the I Want to Help web portal to allow post-secondary students and recent graduates to learn about the program and apply to receive a grant ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 depending upon the number of qualifying volunteer hours. Trudeau also announced the creation of over 10,000 new jobs through the Canada Summer Jobs program.
This week the Government of Canada announced changes to extend time periods for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first. For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff. You can read the full news release and background document on these changes online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford announced that the Provincial government is investing $13 million to support local youth-led organizations. The funding will flow through the 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund, a province-wide initiative that creates opportunities for young people and empowers and supports parents, guardians and caregivers. The Premier was on hand to announce that 43 projects were successful recipients of the Youth Opportunities Fund grants. The grants will support innovative projects that are led by youth and local leaders to provide opportunities, mentorship and support for a wide range of youth across the province. You can read the full news release online.
Today the Ontario government is allowing Windsor-Essex to move into Stage 2 of reopening with the exception of the Municipality of Leamington and the Town of Kingsville. These areas are being held back due to the higher transmission rates in the local agriculture and agri-food sector. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local Medical Officer of Health of Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. You can read the full news release online.
This week Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the creation of a new math curriculum for Ontario elementary students to be implemented this September. This is the first math curriculum update in 15 years and brings some significant changes, including the addition of coding and computer programming and financial literacy and responsibility. “For over a decade, too many students were lacking everyday math, financial literacy, and numeracy skills,” said Minister Lecce. “The new curriculum will help students solve everyday math problems, enshrine financial literacy in the early grades, and better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by ensuring every student learns how to code.” You can read the full news release online.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has confirmed that all Town Canada Day celebrations have been cancelled for 2020 to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Residents are asked to monitor the Muskoka Fire Danger rating for use of private bonfires and fireworks on the Town’s Outdoor Burning page. You can view the full news release online which also includes links to virtual Canada Day celebrations.
Community Paramedics in Muskoka are now testing for COVID-19 if you are COVID asymptomatic and require a test to visit a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate living setting. You do not need an appointment to be tested at the drive-through location. Drive-through wait times will vary depending on volumes. Testing will take place as follows:
Thursday, June 25 – 10:00 am –– 5:00 pm (closed 12 pm to 12:30 pm)
Friday, June 26 – 10:00 am– 5:00 pm (closed 12 pm to 12:30 pm)
Saturday, June 27 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed 12 pm to 12:30 pm)
Location: Canada Summit Centre – 20 Park Dr, Huntsville, ON
Testing is still available by appointment for symptomatic people and asymptomatic people not planning to visit a long-term care home, retirement home, or other congregate living setting by calling your primary care provider or the Muskoka Assessment Centre line at 1-888-383-7009.
The Township of Lake of Bays has released a Business Spotlight featuring food trucks throughout the Township. You can see the list and get directions in their online post.

Business & Tourism Report

The Canada Business Resilience Network has published a resource titled A Communications Guide and Template Signage for Businesses Amidst Reopening. The document provides information and assistance to create communications guides for internal and external partners. It also provides templates and ready-made signage that can be printed for topics such as hand washing, physical distancing as well as operations signage. You can view this resource and templates on their website.
Last week the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and local partners presented an informative webinar entitled “Ask An Expert – COVID-19 Workplace and Business Safety in Simcoe Muskoka”. It featured Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health and Dr. Steven Rebellato, VP Environmental Health from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Issues covered included COVID-19 stats for our region, risks of COVID-19 in the workplace and how to avoid/mitigate them as well as resources for reopening. You can watch the full webinar online.
The Ontario government has released a resource document online titled Develop Your COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan. The document includes information on reducing risk to employees and controls that should be put in place to ensure a safe workplace. Available online, you can also download a safety plan template for creating your own custom plan. You can view these resources online.

Member Updates

Provide us with your business updates so we can feature them daily and get your information out to other members. Other important updates can be found on our COVID-19 Information page. Send us your information to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771.

Further Resources

Moving Forward

In this time we need to work together as much as possible to enable Huntsville and Lake of Bays to weather this situation and to position ourselves as the tourism leader once we are able to re-open our businesses and services to the public. If you have questions or need help finding the appropriate resources to assist you or your business, please reach out to us at the following address: [email protected]
From all of us at the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce team we urge you to stay safe and promise to do everything in our power to assist you in this difficult time.

Chamber of Commerce members can expect the best!

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